During the past year, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with family and old friends. I’ve traveled to new and exciting places and I’ve truly embraced the complexity and excitement of being a Masters’ student. For the most part, everything has been great. Sure, somethings could be better, such as bidding a fond farewell to the current days of social distancing and ‘welcome’ to the previous good old days of normal distancing. It’s hard, we all know it’s hard. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their families…Some people have lost so much that’s it’s difficult for us to fathom what it is that they’re feeling, especially if we haven’t lost as much by comparison.
Growing up, I was often told by my mother that laughter is the best medicine. Sure, it’s much better than crying, stress suppresses your immune system and you are more likely to fall sick. And sometimes laughter can distract you from the troubles in your life, even if only for a bit. So on the days that I’m stuck inside, I listen to music, watch movies (really really terrible movies) and try to focus on the positive. I tell myself I have to be strong, I have to be brave, but most importantly…I have to be kind.
Kindness goes a long way, even if you can’t see it, you can feel it. Lately it feels like there are more bad days than good, especially if you spend the day listening to and reading the latest pandemic news. There are a lot of angry and frightened people out there. They have no healthy way of expressing their anger and frustration and so they take it out on those around them. It’s during times like this that it’s easy to forget the values on which our societies are built. It’s easy to forget that everyone is trying their best to get by and are doing what they need to, to protect their families and themselves.
As you might have already gathered if you’ve read my previous posts, I’ve always been passionate about health and healthcare. It’s what I study and it’s what I do. For most and probably all of us involved in health, we do it out of a deep desire to help others, to make a difference. It’s not all glamorous like it appears on TV, some parts are messy, sticky, stressful, exhausting… (and a whole range of other adjectives). But at the end of the day, what makes it all worth it is knowing that “Today, I got to make a difference”. They are kind because they are doing things that most people wouldn’t want to do, things that a so essential that without them, so many of us wouldn’t be here today.
There are plenty of other kind and compassionate people out there who are social distancing, working, helping others in their communities. Each day I wake up, I try to spread a bit of extra warmth and kindness to those around me. Because I need them to be okay, I need them to feel appreciated and I need them to remember that we are all working together, and we can rely on each other. It’s not just first responders who can save lives, we all can. We just need to take a little interest in the lives of another first and remind them that they are appreciated and we’re willing to help if they need it.
(PS. I hope you’re all doing okay and staying healthy and safe.)